While looking at a model of a whale, the appropriately named biology professor Dr. Frank Fish noticed that whale flippers have strange bumps on their leading edges. Scientists followed up on this and determined that "bumps on the leading edge of model humpback whale flippers cause them to "stall" (i.e., lose lift dramatically) more gradually and at a higher angle of attack." The idea, known as tubercle technology, is being considered for airplanes, submarines and wind turbines, but the first product on the market is the Altra Air ceiling fan from Envira-North Technologies. Collin called it a great example of biomimicry.
Stephen Dewar, a co-founder of Whale Power, says:
"For a long time, scientists 'knew' that the leading edges of turbine and fan blades, airfoils, hydrofoils and like had be smooth and streamlined, but we now know that's not the case," Dewar says. "In fact, the bumps or tubercles along the leading edge of their flippers dramatically increase their aerodynamic efficiency and account for whales' amazing agility under water."
It is expected that the fans will use 20% less electricity than conventional fans, with less vibration and longer life. Not much more information on Envira-North and Whale Power; They are going to really have to ramp up their marketing if they are going to kick Big Ass.